Crossing Africa with the Grenadier: South Africa and Mozambique
Scott Brady and Joe Fleming discuss their segment one of crossing the continent of Africa with the Ineos Grenadier. This includes vehicle preparation, fitting the Front Runner rack and sleeping platform, shipping the vehicle to Durban, and process of selecting and organizing support equipment. They go into detail about the route through South Africa and Mozambique, followed by the lessons learned traveling together and with their trusty Grenadier.
*transcript is unedited*
Scott Brady: [00:00:00] Hello, and welcome to the Overland Journal podcast. I am your host, Scott Brady. And for this week's conversation, we're going to talk about segment one. Of our trans Africa trip with the Eneos Grenadier. Joe's going to join me on this conversation. We're currently in Tofu in Mozambique, where we're going to talk about taking delivery of the vehicle in Durban.
The delays that we had around getting the vehicle paperwork, our car native passage, how we were able to get the vehicle imported and then drive it to Johannesburg for some preparation. We added a front runner rack and some other accessories to the vehicle navigation tools. And we're going to talk about all of that today.
And then we drove the vehicle through the Cedarbergs in South Africa, down to Cape town, and then onto Cape Agulhas. We started at the INEOS headquarters in Cape town and we started North up the Eastern where we really enjoyed some beautiful [00:01:00] time along the coast before entering Mozambique and some remote beach camping.
So we're going to talk a lot about how we prepared the vehicle, how we've worked together as the team, the things that we've learned along the way, the stuff that's working and the stuff that's not working quite as well. So please enjoy our segment one on trans Africa.
And a special thanks to Rocky talkies for their support of this week's podcast, Rocky talkies or backcountry radios designed by a small team in Denver. The radios are extremely rugged, easy to use and compact weighing in at just under eight ounces. They have a range of 1 to 5 miles in the mountains and up to 25 miles line of sight.
The batteries will last from 3 to 5 days and you can recharge them easily via USB C right in the vehicle. Our team uses Rocky Talkies and we also used them recently at the Overland Expo. The next [00:02:00] Overland Expo... Stop into our booth and say hello and check out the radios for yourself. And as a listener of the Overland Journal podcast, you can get 10 percent off a pair by going to rockytalkie.
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So, Joe. We have made it to what was your first objective, which was to get to tofu in Mozambique. This is an incredible place. And, and we're at the turtle Cove lodge here, which is just such a peaceful calming point along the trip to get some work done. There's some wifi here, some comfortable, but very simple accommodation.
And quick access to a lot of really beautiful places around here. So this has been, this has been a great little stop along the journey. And you're getting ready to fly back to Johannesburg for a bunch of other adventures you're going to be doing with the [00:03:00] motorcycles here soon. Yep. So, and then I'm going to continue on through Malawi and end up to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania over the next couple weeks.
We're all staged the vehicle, but we're really going to kind of do an, a wrap up or an overview of what we've accomplished so far. And maybe we just kind of give everybody a little bit of a background at how we got even started at this thing. So this trip to cross Africa, I've been planning it for four years.
And my original plan was just to take a motorcycle and just ride it myself solo up through the continent. You know, just to have that experience myself, but I realized with time that I wanted to do it. I love to travel with people that I care about and you're a close friend. And so it's, it's, it makes a lot of sense to have a companion along for journeys for a lot of reasons.
Just you're having a hard day or just to share the driving responsibilities and everything else. But I think it, we, we [00:04:00] looked at the timing and it was somewhere around last September and you were in Namibia on a sat phone on a sat phone and we were having a conversation about the possibility of you coming along on a trans Africa trip.
And we were originally supposed to get the vehicle like late April was when I finally got word that we had this vehicle. And then I worked with the NEOs team to be able to fly to the UK and test the vehicle out and spend some time with it and make sure that it was baseline for the trip. So I'm sending you updates on that and, and I think at first, I don't know about you, but for me, I was like, ah, I really wanted either the white one or the magic mushroom color, which I think is your favorite and cause they're both just such classic expedition vehicle colors.
And it's also the vehicle color choice I've used for so many of my trips. You know, they, they look clean longer and they, and [00:05:00] they look a little more nondescript running around a country. But we ended up with this green one and it's, it's like a British racing green, but a little bit darker. And now that we've had it for a while, I kind of love the color.
I'm really in love with it. And it looks beautiful in photographs and it just plays with the light. Yeah. You know, if you got direct light on it, it looks bright green. If you got indirect light, it looks dark green. So it's just a, it's super handsome, beautiful, beautiful color. It really is. And then I think it was towards late may I'm leaving the UK and the vehicle gets transported down to South Hampton and then goes onto a boat and then it was.
It was all of a sudden go time, like we've been waiting and planning and staging and then before we knew it, it was go time. The car was on a boat and it was heading to Africa. And I just remember the [00:06:00] conversation that we had because we, one of the things for those that are listening. I think it's a great idea when you're, when you're planning a trip with your partner.
So let's say it's your, your husband or your wife is to have regular meetings around the trip. So that way people can share what it is that they want to experience, where they'd really like to go, their concerns. You can get shared equipment lists and start to distill those down. So you end up with fewer redundancies and you don't forget stuff.
So. So we did a really good job of having almost weekly check ins. Sometimes it was 15 minutes, but other times it was an hour and a half. We're talking through you know, more, more serious planning points. And then the vehicles on the boat and then the, we really ramp up, we're really ramping up the conversation and we're starting to pin down timeframe.
And I, and I think that we were looking at. Being on the road, like within the first [00:07:00] week or so of July, because the vehicle was supposed to arrive originally in Durban around the 23rd or so, and then it ended up arriving the 28. Into Durban, but there were delays with the carne. So t i a, yeah. This is Africa.
So I, I land in Johannesburg. You picked me up from the airport, I think on the 26th or 27th, something like that. I, I think that sounds about revenue of June. My calendar. Of June. Of June. So then, but we don't have access to the vehicle, so we made good use of the time. One of the things that was a learning from this trip for, for the listener is, You've been using WeWork, a WeWork facility in Johannesburg, and I had never been to a WeWork.
I'd never used one. I mean, I've worked in plenty of coffee shops. Sure. But I'd never gone to a place that's really meant to get work done and is structured and designed in a way to [00:08:00] maximize that. And you're like, you know, you should come to WeWork since we got time. And so thanks for that. I mean that, that ended up being.
You know, such a valuable tool to get four or five, six, seven, eight hours of work done in a day with really good wifi unaffected by the load shedding, the power outages that they're having in Johannesburg. And how long had you been using WeWork? So
Joe: I just started using WeWork in January. You know, I've had a, I've had a small office in my house.
It's actually like an old linen closet. That's that I've been using for probably four or five years. And it's been great to have my own little space in the house, but with working in a house comes a lot of distractions and I'd, I'd really been struggling with it over the past couple of years. And I came back from holiday early January, my first day back in my small office, I tried to start working.
One of my dogs is scratching at the door. Someone knocks on the door out front, all the dogs start [00:09:00] barking. My wife wants something. Someone else is at the door. There's all kinds of distractions and I lost it and I was like, you know what? Today is the day I look into WeWork and looked him up online, got the address and I got in the car, immediately drove up there, said, Hey, what's the deal?
Show me around. And the place was
Scott Brady: beautiful. It's stunning. I mean, from my house, brand new building
Joe: and yeah, I think, I think that's building and Rosebank had been constructed at least within the last three years. And you know, I went in there and was blown away. It was five floors of. Co working space and then some of those offices are dedicated to companies and you know, they said we got, you know, wifi, we're not affected by load shedding and we've got free coffee and I've tested the coffee and it got my approval and I was like, well, that's a big cost
Scott Brady: saver.
Yeah, for sure. So time saver. Yeah, absolutely. Cause then you're not stopping at the coffee shop on your way. You're, you're just, you go and you get into work mode.
Joe: And, and what's also nice [00:10:00] about the WeWork is it's, it's open 24 seven. So if you've, as long as you have your key card on you, you haven't forgot it at home, you can go in there 24 hours a day.
So there's plenty of times where, you know, we mentioned the other podcasts that I get up early and I would go in at six 30 or seven and I can just get a lot done that there's no distractions that it really allowed me to be a lot more creative with. My, my time and really get work done. So it's been such a huge investment and, and worthy investment of my time and, and for the business, and I get a lot done and it's great for, you know, when people come to visit like yourself, or I need to book a meeting with someone to say, Hey, come to, we work, I'll book a conference room.
I can also do video conferencing from there and it's just much more nicer business style approach to meetings.
Scott Brady: And it puts you in a business mindset, getting work done. What I'd love to see would be like a [00:11:00] worldwide pass option with WeWork. And then, you know, like some people have gym memberships that work all over the place.
But the ability to be able to go from city to city around the world and have access to these kinds of workspaces, I found it to be super helpful. So that was a learning that happened early on in the trip. So we got a bunch of work done and then I was able to grab a triumph. Tiger from triumph in Johannesburg.
Bruce was super gracious and letting me use a motorcycle. So I got to ride the motorcycle back and forth from the Airbnb that we work. And then we, we all, a bunch of us got to go out on a Sunday for a little scramble and do a little scramble through the dirt and have a great breakfast. And so we were able to fill in.
Fill in the time. That's one of the things that I've learned in travels. Is it so easy when things start to not go according to plan that [00:12:00] we really locked down or we feel frustrated and then it kind of becomes dead time where not a lot of good is coming from it. But because and I think covid and the lockdowns really helped a lot of us see through that.
Like sometimes things are going to be outside of your control, but you still have that time to do something either productive or joyful or healthy. So, you know, every day I was able to fit in a workout. I was able to go to WeWork and get work done. We were still able to socialize with people later in the day and even get in a good motorcycle ride.
So that was, that was awesome. And then things got delayed even further because the Carnet was coming from Cars UK and it was supposed to be couriered, which normally a courier service, which a courier service traditionally is someone goes to the facility, a person goes to the facility through this courier [00:13:00] service, they pick up the document or the small item and they drive it to the airport.
It gets put on a plane and then there's a corresponding courier on the other side that picks up the document and drives it directly to the point of origin like where you need it to be. So a proper courier service, oftentimes even around the world can be done in 24 to 36 hours, but it was five days. It was, they, they used a, a traditional, you know, just DHL or something like that.
And so there was even more time delayed. So then Jess from easy on was super thoughtful and he says, Hey, I'd take my Hilux. So I was able to grab Jess's Hilux and, and go out and I actually stayed in this little cottage that backed up to a game reserve. And, you know, there was no [00:14:00] wifi, but there was good cell coverage.
So I could hotspot my phone and still get work done. I did a lot of reading, read a really interesting book called work. by Cal Newport. And it's, it's a current favorite. It's really, really good. I'm not totally finished with it, but it's a really exceptional book. And it just kind of helped get me in a different mindset about segmenting my time because we can be in travel mode and then we can be in work mode.
We can be in creative mode. We can be in health mode, but we, the, the fewer distractions that we have or the fewer bleed overs between those disciplines, the better, the more we actually get done. So it forced me. So really take a deep look at my routine so that way I could be more productive. But then I also had lions and cheetah and what else was our wild dog?
You know, so in zebra and, and yeah, giraffe and everything else. So I was able to go out on [00:15:00] game drives in the high Lux. With my camera and be creative and capture some beautiful images. And then finally I get the word that they have the carne and I had booked a flight and then canceled the flight and then booked another flight and canceled that flight.
And then they say, Oh, we've got it. And the car will probably be out tomorrow. So then I'm last minute booking a flight to Durban. I get there and then the next, and that was another thing because the, the carne wasn't signed, it created all kinds of complexities too, because originally, and normally that's not a problem through a power of attorney, but for whatever reason, that, that agent on the custom side in Durban.
Was just not willing to let, to sign off the carne without it being physically signed, which I, I'm not saying that that's a bad thing. It just normally that's can be handled with the power of attorney, but it required me to, instead of [00:16:00] flying into Cedar Merrittsburg, Peter Merrittsburg, I had to fly into Durban and then get right downtown to the, to the port and get the thing signed.
But they made it, they made it happen quickly. I probably wasn't even there for six hours. And. It was in the country. They offloaded it. The battery was dead because it had been, well, it was sitting on a boat for a month and then sitting in the port for three weeks. So, but the battery was unaffected.
It was actually really clever because in the Grenadier, there's actually a page that you can select on power on the screen. So you can actually see the amount of amps. Going into the battery and then the current state of charge of the battery. So it really gave me some, you know, it gave me some confidence that the battery was recovering, it was being charged, it was going to work, it was going to, it was going to all kind of play out the [00:17:00] way that I wanted it to.
So, yeah, so we've got the battery charge and someone had to jump you. Yeah, well, yeah. They use a jump pack or something like that to get the thing started. And, and then of course, when it comes off of the boat, there's. A couple of tablespoons of fuel left. I mean, it's supposed to be empty, pretty much. And so fortunately within a few blocks, there was a gas station.
Now the vehicle's filled up and I'm on my way, but I, I ended up because it was the weekend. I couldn't bring it to front runner. Yeah. So, but I made a little, again, I chose to make it a lifetime. Yep. And I. Was able to have a little bit of an adventure through the Drakensberg and did a great, like a super long, like a 12 K hike and was just had some beautiful terrain to, to drive through and also kind of refamiliarize myself with the vehicle and think about some things before the modification started.
So that [00:18:00] was really fun to just kind of have my first road trip, real road trip. I mean, I did one UK, but that was a. Big road trip and yeah, I mean
Joe: you had been, you know, you had been looking forward to that time in the iNOS for quite a long time. I have been, yeah. And after all the delays, like, I think it kind of probably builded built up that anticipation for you.
Yeah, for sure. The moment you have, were given the keys or, or you had the keys to turn the car on and start rolling that first time must have been a lot of excitement. It,
Scott Brady: it was, it was a lot of excitement, but it was a huge relief because, Like you can't start the trip without the vehicle. Now I was able to still have a great trip, but it wasn't related to the reason why I came here, which was to drive this car around Africa.
So it was a huge sense of relief that I had something that was so important to me, which was this renegade that was going to transport us across Africa. And I'm now had it in my hands. It was now [00:19:00] my responsibility. It was no one else. I mean, I can still make mistakes, but I don't have to worry about what others are doing with the vehicle.
It's now within our control and making good choices and taking our learnings through the years and being thoughtful. So, yeah. So then we get, you know, I get back to Johannesburg and then it's time to. Get the vehicle modified time. And that was also the first time you got to see it. Yep. I was staying at another little Airbnb, which I have to say like Airbnb is such a win for overlay because it's so well in South Africa, it's so cheap.
I mean, these were, these were beautiful little, like, you know, granny cottages or mother in law suites on, on the side of these homes. In Johannesburg and they're perfect and they're cheap. They're like 40 something bucks a night on average. But this one had like a big grassy area and I had the vehicle there and I [00:20:00] was going through the kit and we had all the spares that we picked up.
In from any Austin Durbin and you roll in and that was like the first time and I was excited you had seen the car. Yeah, because I think
Joe: that day I was, I had to go run some errands and I wasn't planning on seeing you or coming by that day, but I just messaged you. It was like, Hey, I'm out running errands.
Like if you're around. Or are you going to be going through the spare parts? Let me know. And I'll, I'll come through and help. And you're like, yeah, pull on in and you dropped me a pin. And I was like, cool. I'm 10 minutes away. It was crazy. And I remember just driving, like pulling in the driveway, seeing you.
And then off in the distance, I see the car. And it was so nice to finally have eyes on the vehicle. You know, that we had been. Talking about for over eight months, it was a, it was a big buildup and a lot to get to that point. Because like I was so excited through many months that, you know, it was almost within reach [00:21:00] and then to finally actually see it.
Yeah. Then I allowed myself to like, get excited,
Scott Brady: celebrate
Joe: a little bit. It was a, it was a, it was definitely a small celebration in that moment to like see it. And
Scott Brady: what I remember is, it was maybe a month or so prior, our mutual friend, Alan, who does some work with INEOS now, too. He had one of the prototypes or an early production model or something, and he brought it by.
Yeah. And you got a chance to sit in it and make sure you actually fit because for those that are listening and not watching this on YouTube. I'm 6'1 and Joe towers over me at 6'7, so, so I fit in the vehicle great. And, but you actually fit like, how does it feel being in the driver's seat? Like what adjustments do you make to make it comfortable for you?
Joe: So for me, I take it all the way back and then I'll drop the seat all the way down and then I'll rock the seat back just a little [00:22:00] bit past sort of 90 degrees. So I like to kind of. Just have a little bit of a lean. And then for me, as long as the seats all the way back and all the way down, I'm super comfortable.
You know, there was a couple of times on the trip where we had some camera gear behind the seat, so I couldn't go all the way back, but I was still quite comfortable not all the way back. And, you know, I had been in a vehicle, I'd been in a Defender years ago because I was very interested in a Defender and someone brought a vehicle by the house for me to try out.
And I was like, okay, let me see if I can fit in this. like, okay, I guess I'm never owning a defender because it was, it was bad, just no room. And so when Alan brought that grenadier by, you know, before the trip, That was the first thing I wanted to find out, like, what am I going to feel like in here? And I don't, I don't I mean, that's
Scott Brady: critical for our trip.
Yeah. Is that you could actually drive it. Oh, yeah.
Joe: And I was, I was, I was [00:23:00] very impressed. I felt like I had a lot of room. And, you know, all the days that I've been driving and the long hours that I'm either driving or sitting in the passenger seat, I've been super comfortable. You know, I'm not... I don't feel cramped.
I feel like I have plenty of room to move around, especially if I'm passenger, you know, and kind of shift around, put my legs up and just get comfortable. And so. For God, my height, it's, it's okay. And it's, it's not, it's more than okay. It's, it's pretty damn good.
Scott Brady: Yeah. And you've done long driving stints. I mean, five, six, seven hours at a time already on this trip where you've had a lot of time behind the wheel to get a sense for if it actually works and because this is a field master, excuse me.
Yeah, this is a field master. It has the leather interior. And I'm normally not a fan of leather for these. I mean, leather is great for a city vehicle or for a family vehicle, even because leather is so much easier to clean up than, than a cloth seats. But [00:24:00] because we were able to reach out to James from Melville and moon, who is the, the any us.
At least in Africa, a seat cover supplier and they make some of the best seat covers in the world. So we were able to get those cloth seat, you know, cotton canvas seat covers installed. And then immediately the car was just sorted for me. It was so nice. Now, what I do. That's different from you. And it actually makes it where we almost don't need to make any other adjustments to the review mirror or the side mirrors is that I'll, I'll get in the driver's seat.
And then because it has, you know, these are all manual Recaro seats. So there's no electronics in the seats at all, which I think is a good thing. Well, it does have heated seats, but it does have the ability to lift the seat. So I'll crank the seat up probably about two or. Two and a half inches. And then I'm back kind of in that same zone that you would be in the lower position.
So it [00:25:00] works out, it works out just, just perfect to do that. And I have found it to be really comfortable. I like the steering wheel size, which is probably helpful for you too. It's not too oversized. And then, you know, it's this leather comfortable steering wheel. It's got a good
Joe: grip, good grip. It feels
Scott Brady: Like, yeah, but it's also like. Beefy enough where you, you don't feel like you're got this dainty little steering wheel. So I do, I do like that a lot, but yeah, so then we were in Joe bird, we go through all the spares. And at first we were both a little worried because I don't know. There was five or six boxes, but it's kind of like an Amazon package.
Thankfully we're like, it'd be some gigantic box. And by the time you get all the stuffing and everything out of it, it was something much smaller. The spares kit that we decided on for this trip is actually quite limited. And a lot of that is because the vehicle is so new. So there's really not any trending around a [00:26:00] particularly problem.
Problematic issue with the vehicle. So there's really not a reason to say like, Oh, this thing is a problem. So you got to make sure you bring one. That's not really been a consideration yet. They knew that because of the kind of traveling we were doing and the weight of the vehicle, and we'd be off road driving quite a bit, which would include a lot of traction control activation.
They supply to set a front and rear brake pads. That was something that any us felt was a, a good thing. And I've seen that in other heavy vehicles, like a Golanda Vaughn and land cruisers is that they tend to go through brakes a little more quickly because they're heavy vehicles. You know, this, this vehicle is close to 6, 000 pounds.
We have it outfitted right now. So it's heavy. So we have front and rear brake pads. We have an engine belt. And then we have the important filters and spares like oil filter. We have a [00:27:00] cabin filter. And we also have an air filter along with us. And then I requested a couple of things. So I requested an alternator and a starter.
The starter is really important for an automatic transmission vehicle, despite the make of it. Like it doesn't matter if you have a Land Cruiser or a G wagon or a Grenadier or a defender, you should bring, it's an automatic. Better bring a starter along because you can't jumpstart it. You can't pop the clutch and start the vehicle up that way.
There's not another way around that. So for me, I, I knew it was important to have an extra starter. So, and a lot of that can come from deep water crossings. You can do really deep, progressive, deep water crossings, which is possible on this trip and the starters can fail because they can get filled with silt or mud or the damage to the brushes.
So it was really good for us to have a spare starter. We also have a spare alternator which is also [00:28:00] important because it's such a heavily electronic vehicle, much less so than a lot of other modern vehicles, but it still has enough electronics and it needs a certain operating voltage in order to run properly.
So we have an alternator and a spare belt to go with it. So there's those basic things. There was some, some bolts, some extra lug nuts. We brought along an extra set of front and rear license plates, which we actually almost lost one early on in the trip and one of the bolts was out. So it's good to bring an extra set of license plates.
If you can, along with you, they can be stolen or they can be torn off. On the trail by brush, et cetera. So it's a good idea to have, have some extra number plates along. And then INEOS was very generous in providing us with a laptop and the Bosch control unit that you can plug into the OBD2 outlet.
So that way, if we do have a problem that comes up with the vehicle, I can at least go in and diagnose and [00:29:00] maybe reset some of those systems when I'm really remote in the, when we're really remote in the field, fortunately, we haven't had to use that yet. Other than I tested it, I tested it in camp down at the kind of homologation facility here in South Africa, made sure that it worked and checked everything.
But we haven't had to plug it in so far on the trip, fingers crossed, knock on wood and all that other stuff. So but yeah, overall. No issues with the vehicle. The only thing that we've Had to contend with a little bit is the tire pressure monitoring system. It's, it's a fairly narrow operating range.
So in cold temperatures, you can, you can fairly easily get out of that operating range, either over pressure or under pressure, and then it just sets off a little warning on the dash. Which doesn't, I mean, tire pressure monitoring system. Most vehicles never had that. So you don't, you don't need it to go across to Africa, but it is something that's been persistent that we've, we've had to make adjustments with, but [00:30:00] nothing else is, has come up.
That's stopped us on our journey.
Joe: No, I mean, we've, we haven't had any other problems with the vehicle. You know, the other day on the dunes, we pushed it and it's been
Scott Brady: fun. So what do you think about driving it? What's your impression so far driving the vehicle on the road?
Joe: Yeah, it's, it's, at first it took me a little bit to get used to.
I've felt a bit kind of playful. And I felt myself kind of correcting it a bit. But now I've kind of gotten used to it and now I don't, I don't notice it. And I feel, you know, definitely feels like a big vehicle, but it drives nice and easy. And then what I really enjoy about the vehicle, and I've said this to you many times is that cruise.
Cause if you kind of pass a vehicle or whatever, and then you just want to cruise it like a hundred. It just has this nice,
we haven't got it a hundred miles per hour, but it just has this nice cruise that it just, you can see it [00:31:00] like feels really happy at that speed.
Scott Brady: So that's been really nice and then it gets way better fuel economy. Like since we've been in Mozambique and the speeds have dropped down to that 80 to 100 kilometer an hour range Like the other day I was seeing 12.
3 liters per 100k. Wow. So that's over 20 miles of the gallon Yeah, so that's very encouraging because the early estimated economy numbers Well, they were a bit concerning for me because it's a 90 liter fuel tank. And we've got some stretches in Africa where we have really long distances to travel. And then you always have to take into consideration, and this is something to think about as, as a listener is you're not only trying to make sure that you have enough fuel to make it from.
Point a that you're at right now, where you top off to point B, where you could find fuel reliably, again, you have to plan for the possibility that you make it almost all the [00:32:00] way to that gas station, but then the bridge is out or there's something else that keeps you from making it through. And either you need to detour a long distance or you need to drive all the way back to point a.
So it's not just that, Oh, I've got to make it 180 K to the next. To the next gas station or 220 K to the next gas station. You got to make it 200 K there and 200 backs. You got to make it 400 K. And so it's been really encouraging to see at the lower speeds, which makes sense. It's an efficient BMW motor as an eight speed transmission with an overdrive and it's a, it's a boxy vehicle.
So if you keep, if you keep the speeds a little lower, it's not fighting all that wind resistance so much. So for us, we needed to make sure we can optimize the range from the 90 liters that we have in the vehicle. But then we also added two 20 liter jerry cans on the rack. [00:33:00] And then we have an additional 40 liters total of these giant loops.
Fuel bladders. So if we really have to, if we, if we're really concerned about range or fuel quality, we can fill up both Jerry cans, of course, fill the 90 liters in the tank up, and then also another 40 liters. Of fuel that we could strap down inside the vehicle, even in the footwells with those giant loop bags.
But the real advantage of those giant loop bags is that when you're done using them, or right now when we're not using them at all, they're just rolled up. Yeah. And they're
Joe: totally out of much space at
Scott Brady: all. They don't, we've got it actually underneath the sleeping platform. Yeah. So then now we're in Joe Berg and it's, we were able to go to front runner and start to get some modifications.
The vehicle came with a full length rack which is actually a really nice rack. It's made by Rhino rack. It's a high quality unit, but there were two [00:34:00] things about it that I wanted to change, actually three. The, the first thing that I wanted to address was that you couldn't use the Safari windows and we're in Africa when, where we're going to be doing safaris and we want to be able to remove those windows and.
Stand up through on the seats, stand up on the seats, and take photographs of wildlife. And most of the, the vast majority of game reserves do not allow you outside of the vehicle, you're not allowed to step outside of the vehicle, so then you're limited to only shooting out of one window or the other.
And you're technically not even supposed to roll down your windows in a lot of them. They even have signage to that. So the way you get around it is you pop the safari windows out before you go into the game reserve and then stand up on the seat and you can get 360 degrees also at a higher vantage point.
So if you're shooting giraffe and elephant [00:35:00] and everything else, you're at a really optimal and safe vantage point, even with predators. I thought that was really cool. Then the second reason that we went with the three quarter rack is that you can't. With the, with the full length factory rack, you can't even open the safari windows, which is unfortunate because they, there's such a, a great way to bring in a little bit of ventilation.
Joe: absolutely. Especially when we come into towns, I find whenever we're, you know, riding a bit slow or heading through a town, it's nice to just kind of pop up those windows and allow a bit of airflow in. And to, to not have access to that would be would be unfortunate. So I'm glad we have that three quarter rack.
Scott Brady: It just lets us utilize a very cool feature of the vehicle. And I really like the safari windows. I think they're just super cool. And they're also not motorized, which I like. So it saves weight. There's nothing to fail and the. The seal around [00:36:00] it is super robust, so you're not going to, you're not highly unlikely to get leaks.
And then it even has a channel. So as the water comes down and around the window the glass, there's actually a drain port that goes back out into the ground. So even if you had a slightly compromised seal, it shouldn't actually leak up inside the, you know, inside the vehicle. So other than maybe at speed or something like that, but the safari windows are great.
Yeah, you know, I, I really like those. And then the last reason is we're driving so many miles that no wind noise can be fatiguing from a rack and racks can be very noisy and pretty much any full length rack. It doesn't matter who you buy it from. They're going to have some wind noise. That's been my experience.
So it's not like, Oh, if you got a different full length rack from the, from the Rhino rack, it would somehow be much quieter. That's not been my experience. The Rhino rack was typical noise from a full length rack, [00:37:00] but the three quarter rack, because it moves far enough back, it's now, you know, outside of this, like the slip stream of the profile of the vehicle.
And I, it basically makes no noise that I can hear. I don't,
Joe: I don't hear it unless we open up those Safari windows, I don't hear the roof rack. Yeah. You know, I'm so used to my truck hearing the roof rack all the time and now to be in that vehicle where you just, you don't hear it. It's really nice because you just, you don't know it's up there.
Whereas typically I'm very aware that I have a
Scott Brady: roof rack. And for me, if I can hear it, I mean, both of us have a little bit of military related hearing loss. So if I'm hearing a roof rack, somebody with great hearing is going to really hear the roof rack. And it's nice to not have that fatiguing drone or whistle or whatever that a lot of times.
Joe: And, you know, and, and, and just like a, a clankling water bottle in the back of the truck, we don't have to turn the volume up to like fix the roof rack, you know, exactly. Cause that's usually what I do is when I [00:38:00] hear the roof rack making noise, I just turn up the volume. Cause I'm not going to be able to silence that.
So turning up the music helps. So it's nice that. We don't have to crank up the music so much to drown out that noise.
Scott Brady: And that rack is really a critical platform because we really need the extra fuel capacity. So when we had the, the roof rack spec'd, they spec'd it for four of the, of the front runner box mounts, max tracks, set of four max tracks, plus pins and a mount.
There's a table underneath the rack, which is super useful in camp. We've got 20 liter water can up there with a spout that you could actually use as a shower. And then we've got the 40 liters. Of fuel up there. So surprisingly when you add all of that up, I mean, it's 88 pounds in the rack. It's 88 approximately 88 pounds, maybe a [00:39:00] little bit more maybe 90 pounds between two full jerry cans And then you've got about another 40 pounds a little bit more With the water can and then the tables about 28 pounds with the brackets And then you got about another 30 pounds with the max track.
So you end up close to 200 pounds on the rack. But fortunately the, the Grenadier has 150 kilogram roof load rating, which is super rare. There's not a lot of vehicles that have that. So we got really lucky because I wasn't going to overload the vehicle. So I would have had to come up with a different plan and we've only kept fuel in one of the cans.
It's just like an emergency backup. What you don't want is, is. Like consistent heavyweight on top of the vehicle. If there are times that you're like, okay, I've got to fill up both fuel cans, but within a couple hours you can transfer the fuel out from the can. So [00:40:00] you're really only keeping that heavy weight up there for a short period of time.
Like if we were to fill both cans, we would start to empty it out as soon as we can. So that way we didn't keep that weight up there persistently, but we were able to keep it underneath. The 330 odd pound rift load limit of the Grenadier, and it's not making any noise and it doesn't feel like overly top heavy from the extra weight.
No, it doesn't. Not on the road so much. No, no. On the trail, I'm noticing a little bit more head toss because of the weight, but that's, again, that's almost 200 pounds. Well, not in this configuration, but it could be as much as 200 pounds or so if we filled up all the cans.
Joe: Yeah, it's been quite minimal, like on the off roads and like the dunes and stuff that I don't really feel it a whole lot, so I'm glad where we are at the moment.
I mean, even in the back of the, of the Grenadier, we don't have a lot of stuff. I mean, there, there is a lot of stuff, but it's quite low. You can always see out the back. So [00:41:00] we're, I think we did a really good job of packing and not bringing. More than we need. I think we have like a few, a handful of items that, you know, I may take back to Joburg, but other than that, everything we're, we're, we're using at the moment.
Scott Brady: And it helps that we're both. Motorcycle travelers used to traveling with nothing. I mean, one of the ether bags that I have in there, the little like kind of waterproof duffles. That's what I normally have all of my gear in, in the top of a motorcycle. So I think we did a pretty good job of keeping it to a minimum.
And so we're well under gross vehicle weight. We got plenty of extra capacity so the vehicle's not being overstressed and the vehicle's sitting level. It's not squatting in the back which is something that I was concerned about once we got it loaded up, but we've got a 25 liter Dometic fridge. So we went with a smaller fridge while it's actually the smallest fridge that they make that isn't.
That isn't a console fridge. And I think it's been fine. Like we've made it, [00:42:00] we've made it work. It's easy to go with like the 60, 70, 80 liter fridge, but all you end up doing is just filling it up. So now it's much heavier and it takes up a lot more space. But somehow, like we talk about Parkinson's theory, Parkinson's law is that, you know, you've.
You fill to the available space.
Joe: And we've done that. And I don't think that I don't think at all on the trip, have we had to take stuff out of the fridge, like everything. That's gone in there. We've used and luckily through this stretch from, you know, Joburg up to Moz is that we've, we've had meals like we can go somewhere, go to a restaurant or go to a lodge.
And it's nice to use those to our advantage while we can to limit the amount of cooking and cleaning that we have to do, because at some point in the trip, we'll get to that point where we'll need to cook and we'll need to have extra food. And so. That'll be something for us to figure out later on in the trip.
But for now, you know, we just keep [00:43:00] chocolate, oat milk, some cold water, which is, which is nice. A bit of fruit. There's some cheese and, you know, I think there's some like tonic back there.
Scott Brady: Yeah, there is. And then we, you know, we've some strawberries on occasion and that kind of stuff. So we, we buy a lot of bananas cause they don't need to be refrigerated.
You know, we buy eggs. They don't need to be refrigerated. We buy wraps and other things you know, built on or, or you know, beef jerky for, for those back in the States, we've eaten a lot of that. Yes, we have. We have. And I think we've also done a really good job of being healthy. So it's easy as travelers and I've done this myself.
So this is my own experience. Is especially on expedition seven. I just didn't make the best choices about making sure that we always had healthy, healthy food. So we would do a lot of kind of roadside stops, which not normally a good choice. The kind of food that you could buy in a gas [00:44:00] station because we were pushing so hard to make so many miles.
But on this one, we've been so intentional about what we've been eating. We're usually only having one meal out and we do some research ahead of time to make sure it's a, a higher quality establishment. And then we make better choices when we do go to eat. I've eaten a ton of fish on this trip and I've avoided fried stuff as much as I can.
Maybe the occasional French fry, but I think you and I have had, we've had one Coca Cola the whole trip.
Joe: Yeah. And the only reason I had that because I wasn't feeling well and I wanted that. Settle your stomach. Yeah. And it, and it helped. And that's been it. Yeah.
Scott Brady: But in the vehicle, we, we bring along like a high quality.
It's I basically made a mixture for us. It's got whey protein in it. It has collagen protein in it. It has like a, a combination of different adaptogenic mushrooms, [00:45:00] lion's mane and everything else like that. And then it's got you found this really cool. It's like a, it is a vegan protein,
Joe: soaring, soaring free superfoods.
Scott Brady: Was that the one in the little
Joe: package? Yeah, so they came in the little packages. So that was what I gave you when you first came to Joe Bird. So I kind of gave you a little bit of smaller ones. Yeah. And, and they have great flavors, all natural and they, they choose very high quality ingredients.
Scott Brady: So that's my favorite.
Tons of superfoods in there, chia seeds and everything else. So we basically end up with a mixture of whey protein, which is super high quality, very bioavailable protein. We got some locals, they're singing. I love it.
Joe: Come make a photo.
Scott Brady: That's super cool. Yeah. Yeah. There's such happy people [00:46:00] here in Mozambique. It's just endless smiles. It really is. Yeah. And there's so many reasons to smile here. It's just a beautiful place. Beautiful. Stunning. Yeah. So yeah, it's this combination of really healthy foods that are in there.
Halfway half vegan protein with a bunch of super foods, some adaptogenic mushrooms, some collagen powder. And that's it. That's, that goes into this protein shake. And then if we have access to 220 volt power, Then we use the blender you brought along and we'll throw in bananas and we'll throw in these little packets, packets filled with nuts and seeds and, and, and some big and stuff like that.
We just, we just load it up full of good stuff. And I don't know about you, but I just feel like a champ when I have that. It's,
Joe: I mean, it's just tastes so delicious and you know, your body is like, Oh, that's exactly what I want. And for us, like early in the mornings to, you know, get up at dark, we're not really sure where [00:47:00] breakfast spot's going to be.
And we don't really want to take the time to stop for breakfast, like to have those smoothies early in the morning, you know, you can last for a good solid couple hours before you even think about getting food. So to have those kind of good nutrients in you early in the day is super helpful because, you know, I've done it on trips as well, where you just eating from.
Restaurant to restaurant. And eventually like you just get, I always feel quite fatigued and my body's just trying to compose everything or compost everything or decompose everything or something like that. All of it. Yeah. Digest,
Scott Brady: digest, digest, decompose, compost. I think you're doing it all.
Joe: So the, the less work I can make my body do, you know, the better for a trip like this, cause we've had long days and You know, to have better foods really helps to make the day last and I feel a lot stronger at the end of the day.
Scott Brady: And then I don't feel [00:48:00] so tired in the morning. I think if you have a heavy breakfast, it's easy to feel like back kind of mired down. So eating lighter. And of course we make coffee every day because that's kind of a ritual thing. That's just a joy of life. So we're either looking for a good coffee shop or we're making coffee, which we have great coffee.
in the vehicle. So that's been, that's been super fun to kind of see, but it's working. I feel like that the food that we're eating is really working. I've got plenty of it in the vehicle. So I could, you know, we could drive for a month without having to get a meal if we had to. So if you're stuck at a border, at least you've got really healthy quality food.
And then I've also been including, and you've recently started to enjoy this, but it's It's basically creatine and then it's got a bunch of branch chain amino acids and a couple of other other super foodie things in it and we just make it into a water drink. In fact, I got some right here and it tastes like berries.
Joe: It's [00:49:00] delicious. Like I don't, I drink coffee, water and that's really about it. Like I don't drink juices. I don't drink soda. So to have something like that, that tastes. You know, very good. Oh, man, sugar. Yeah. It quenched my thirst. It was so refreshing. I think
Scott Brady: it's a muscle tech is who makes it and I could buy it and I was able to buy it in Johannesburg and I got another big bucket because of course, every time you buy a big bucket and it's actually only half full stuff.
So I bought another big bucket. Combine them together. So we got plenty for the trip. I'll have to bring some over in my luggage. Yeah for the next for the next leg So it is fun to talk about food because food is a real experience of travel and we haven't and we haven't Excluded ourself from that like we go and experience local cuisine and we go to the restaurant on the beach and we have This really healthy meal of fish and rice or whatever.
So that way we're not, we're not [00:50:00] gaining weight. We're not losing weight. We feel strong and healthy and our minds feel clear. We're not pounding a bunch of sugar, but let's talk about sleep a little bit because I think that that is something that's easily discounted when you're traveling. So the way that we chose to travel in this vehicle was Front runner was very generous and they actually made this lightweight aluminum frame that has a wood top and a hinge.
So the, the sleeping platform can be folded back and over on top of the platform in the back. So you can use the rear seats. So We've got people coming in, family, friends, whatever. We can still travel with them. But we've been leaving it in the seat back down and then platform folded over configuration, because then we can put all the gear strapped down low on the platform.
And we weren't really sure how that was going to [00:51:00] work. We, we do, we do take everything out. Most of the gear goes back into the driver's seat and the passenger seat in the front. So it's secure. And then we had the table out, but we could have put it that away. And then we had the fridge sitting on the table, but all that stuff can fit on the, on the rack overnight if needed.
Yeah. And then. We would sleep. So you slept with your head towards the back doors on the passenger side. And then I slept with my head facing the driver's seat, which is good because we're both bigger guys. So it gives that shoulder space. And then as long as you're just mindful of not kicking the person in the face.
Yeah. I don't think anyone
Joe: got kicked. I
Scott Brady: don't think we kicked anybody. But, and then we, and then we, so we're. Sleeping on these flat load platforms. And then what are we using to sleep on and in what are you recommended?
Joe: Yeah. The, the Melville and moon bedrolls. So I got, I got mine from James at Melville and moon about, I think it was about a year ago.
And[00:52:00] He actually made mine custom to fit my length because I'm, you know, two meters tall. So the bedroll I've got is extremely comfortable. And there's also, what I love about is that there's actually a lot of material that you kind of throw over yourself that you can use
Scott Brady: it like a blanket.
Joe: Yeah. You could use it as a blanket.
You can actually sit up like a lot of times when I'll work, I'll kind of sit up with my knees up. And there's still extra material to, it's not too tight. So, you know, if you want to put sleeping bags and blankets in there, you've got plenty of space. And for me, I, you know, after sleeping on those, you know, 10, 15 times now.
I know I'm going to get a good night's sleep. Like I know that comfort and I'm used to it. And I feel like I'm back home when I'm in that bed
Scott Brady: roll. And the advantage too, is that it is not an inflatable mattress. So there's nothing to fail, nothing to repair puncture or anything else like that. And then.
It is very [00:53:00] roomy too which I, which I like, but then the, the cover, the outside of it. So the bottom of it is like a heavy duty reinforced almost rubber. Yeah. So you can just brush the sand or dirt or whatever off it. But then the sides and the top, basically the whole flap that comes over is wax canvas.
Yeah. Like a heavy duty wax canvas. So I've actually got the vehicle set up now and that's how I'll continue on on the trip is I'm just going to leave the bedroll out and then put things on top of it because I'm not worried about puncturing a mattress. I'm not worried about rubbing a hole in that heavy duty canvas.
It's a bomber. And then even like we had a little bit of water spill inside there today and it pulled up, like it did not leak into the bed, which was another like surprise. So I'm, I'm a, I've always been a big fan of bedrolls. I mean, they've been used forever, literally forever. People have been using bedrolls and there's a reason for it.
So I, I really like those. And then I I'm actually, this is kind of [00:54:00] a fun. Little anecdote, but I've always really liked the Nemo equipment stuff. They're tense and they're sleeping pads and I've used them, their stuff around the world. But I have a Nemo pillow. It's an inflatable pillow with a little bit of memory foam and like this very soft kind of blocked cover on it.
And I have, that is the same pillow that I've been using since I think probably 2010. Wow. So it's the same pillow that I've used on all of my trips, you know, and just wash it at the end of the trip. And, but the fact that it, it has been, I've used it sleeping on planes. I'm using it on this trip. It's the same pillow.
So when you buy a good piece of gear and, you know, Nemo's not a advertiser, they're not a sponsor or anything like that. It's just a really great piece of kit. These Nemo pillows. And I've used them around the world and they tuck into a little ball when you want to pack them up. Perfect. So it's been fun to like have that little piece of [00:55:00] comfort that's been with me on all seven continents.
Joe: You've got to have that comfort and you, you know, the, the size of the bedroll, you know, when you got yours the other day, it was quite narrow compared to mine, which had a sleeping bag and a blanket in it. You know, I looked at that bedroll at first seeing all that size and I'm like, man, maybe it's too big.
Maybe we shouldn't take these. But. To have comfort and know you're going to good night's sleep. It's worth it. It's worth it. And one of the things that I actually don't bring on trips is a pillow. You know, I brought a little neck pillow, but I brought it like, like kind of last minute. So That's one thing I've had on my list that I need to get is is actually a good travel pillow We need to get
Scott Brady: you a nemo pill.
Joe: it sounds like I need to get a nemo pillow I don't know if I can find the one from 15 years 13 years ago, but we'll
Scott Brady: find it I'll bring it with me for the next leg. Yeah, so sleep is really key and then we've both been paying close attention [00:56:00] to our sleep scores So we're getting into a little bit of the weeds here, but I think it's made such a difference.
So we're both running Garmin watches. Apple watch. We'll do the same thing. Samsung watches, Android watches. We'll do that too. And they can track your sleep. So in the morning, you know, we'll get up and we'll evaluate how our sleep was from the night before. And it's part of a communication point between the two of us.
So that way we can be paying attention. We can be checking in on each other and how we're doing. And that's why I ask you about your sleep score because the foundation of being a healthy traveler starts with sleep and then it moves on to diet and it moves on to movement and it moves on to other things community, good communication and all of that.
But it really does start just like in life, just like in work. Just like an exercise, it starts with the foundation of great sleep and we've really paid attention to it. And I know that both of us have noticed that when we're [00:57:00] not sleeping well, it's really affecting us. And so we've been, we've been mindful of like, Don't have a cocktail too late in the day.
It's going to affect your deep sleep. Like that's one of the, one, one of the things I noticed that you've changed is not eating late. I kept encouraging you like, try it. Let's just try it. Night eating too late. And if you're in, if you're kind of wrapped up two, three, four hours before you go to bed with eating and you're not snacking, man, the quality of your sleep improves so much.
You know, that's,
Joe: that's been a huge change for me during this trip is not eating late. And there's been times where we don't eat dinner. Yeah. And that's very new to me where I always have you know, I may miss breakfast, but I'm going to get a lunch and I'm going to get a dinner every day. And it's been really nice to know that on these long days, you know, where we may get somewhere, we may arrive somewhere at 7 30, I think was one of our later nights.
I do not want [00:58:00] to eat because I want to get to sleep as soon as I can because I know tomorrow I'm waking up at four o'clock and then I need to get as much sleep as I can. So you naturally
Scott Brady: wake up at 4 30 o'clock.
Joe: Yeah. And that's like for me, I know that the earlier I get to bed, the better off I'm going to be.
The next day because I'm getting up early no matter what. And so, you know, you were chatting earlier about sleep score and I think, you know, when we're each kind of sharing how well we slept, we kind of know what to expect from that partner that day. Whereas, you know, I was also sick for a good portion of the trip.
Really struggling to get good sleep. So you know that you may have to pick up a bit of my slack and that's okay because it's a long trip ahead of us. And we know that people are going to get sick. Yeah. Part of the deal. It's going to be your turn. Maybe at some point I'm going to have to pick up
Scott Brady: slack.
It's nobody's fault.
Joe: You know, it's been also nice to know that, you know, there's been times, especially the other day where. [00:59:00] I was like, man, I'm, I'm really getting tired. And I said, Hey, Scott, like, can you drive now? Because I'm tired. And that's also been a huge adjustment for me on this trip where typically I'm the one driving leading trips or, you know, driving my wife on a trip.
And I like to drive the whole time. And to know like, this is, this is your trip that I'm supporting on. It's been really nice change for me to just sit in the passenger seat and be a good co pilot, you know, and I've really enjoyed that because I've also seen in the past what makes a good co pilot for me.
You know, tips and things that they could do to help me. And that's navigation. That's finding lunch. It's maybe answering messages and things like that. And so those are things that I've taken into consideration when you're driving is to, you know, help you out as much as you can. What do you need in the back?
You know, where do you want to go? I'll get the map or do you need your [01:00:00] phone? I'll, I'll do all that stuff so that you just focus on driving. And it just makes the trip a whole lot safer, you know,
Scott Brady: because I mean, if, if, if it's as simple as just looking where the next turn is or something, I'll do that. But for the most part, if the phone requires anything else, I just hand it to you.
You know, the passport password to my phone and you, you get in there and you check on Google or whatever, or you change the book that we're thinking. Carplay.
Joe: That's right. Yeah, exactly. I know the Carplay secrets. That's
Scott Brady: right. So then, yeah, cause we're moving back and forth between devices and everything else.
So It's really good to remember as the driver, especially when you're outside of like four lane divided highway, like you have got to be, your only job is to be piloting that vehicle safely so that you and the other people in that car, many times it's your family [01:01:00] and arrive safely. I just cannot speak.
more like fervently about the fact that do not be checking your phone while you're driving overland like that. You're in a big vehicle, heavy vehicle. And as we've seen in South Africa and in Mozambique, there is anything you can conceive on the road is on the road. That's human beings, drunk human beings.
At night, not wearing bright or light clothing that you can see them or there's animals, donkeys, wildlife, gigantic potholes vehicles with one headlight that looked like a motorcycle, but it's really a gigantic semi coming at you. So we've seen it all and the drivers op, you know, only responsibility is driving, and then the second responsibility is.
If you're feeling tired, you communicate that immediately to your co driver. If you don't have a co driver pull off, find a safe space. That could [01:02:00] be in a gas station, parking lot and take a little nap. And we've both done a really good job of that. And this is how, you know, it's time to swap is that you find yourself doing like your head scratching or you're stretching or you're taking big, big breaths and you can watch your, your driver and see those tells.
But is it the first time that you feel like that where you're just almost. Feeling the edge of like that sleep pressure building. Stop immediately and swap out because
Joe: I notice you know, there's a lot of times where I do long trips and I know that I can push past those sort of yawning phases.
I'll have a coffee. I'll start snacking. I know that I can do that. But I know if I pay for it later, whenever I get to my accommodation, you know, there's a lot of times where I don't have the luxury to, you know, stop for like a long time and I need to get somewhere. But on this trip I [01:03:00] can, you know, I can say like, okay, I'm getting tired and it's okay for me to get in the passenger seat because then at least later, if I need to drive, I'll be fully rested.
You know, like. The other day we, I said, look, I think I need to go lay down. Yeah. So we moved everything over, had the one bed roll out and I laid in the back of the, of the truck and took a nap. And that actually allowed me later that day to say, Hey Scott, I'm, I'm getting antsy back here. I feel left out, you know, I feel like I'm missing you, you know, I also, I feel pretty good.
I'll drive. Yeah. And, and so I did. And
Scott Brady: so that to experience our first traffic stop. Yeah. From the, from the, I did like hiding in the bedroom on the
Joe: back. Yeah. I got sneaky iPhone pics of you paying your fine and getting your receipt and everything.
Scott Brady: Yeah. That was great. Fair enough. I mean, I was barely speed.
It was a, it was an, an unmarked 60 kilometer an hour zone. There was no speed sign that [01:04:00] said that. And I was doing 67, 68 kilometers an hour in a 60 car, which is so slow. I was driving so slow and you know, it's whatever, you know, paid the fine. I think it ended up being about 15 bucks or something. I think they actually gave me a proper receipt and in the log book and took down all my information.
And, you know, so at least I didn't feel like I was bribing anybody, but, you know, you never know, but. Regardless, I was able to pay the fine. We were able to be back on our way. That was pretty good. Well, let's talk about navigation. There's so much to talk about where we're at an hour and 15 minutes, which is fine, go for a little bit longer with navigation.
Cause it's such a thing that people worry about is navigating and there's some really great tools. For the traveler for making good navigation decisions. Now, specifically when it comes to Africa, they're the very high water mark of navigation [01:05:00] always needs to be tracks for Africa. I have not found a single substitute for that.
There are complimentary technologies and complimentary mapping solutions, but Without a doubt, you want tracks for Africa and you want tracks for Africa on your Garmin device because they don't offer it for any other, any other GPS solution that I'm aware of. But if you have a Garmin, we have a Garmin Overlander or Garmin Tread, and you download the map files from the internet, put it onto a micro SD card, you just stick it in the micro SD card slot formatted the right way, and next time you start your unit up, you're running tracks for Africa, and it shows You know, hidden speed bumps.
It shows police checkpoints. It shows bridges. It's landmines. We saw landmines on the, yeah, we saw landmines and it shows different, you know, degrees of [01:06:00] tracks and difficulty in some little notes, cartographers notes in there. It shows accommodation and fuel and, and, and other resources within that.
Yeah. And then the other really thing, nice thing that I like about it is it allows turn for turn turn by turn navigation using the Garmin. Yeah. So we can at least get a sense of the route and of course verify it. But then we also on the Garmin, which is a fairly recent addition in the last couple of years is they added iOverlander.
Joe: Yeah. That's been, that's been very helpful for us to, you know, find little accommodation spots along the way. You know, I actually just downloaded High Overlander about a month ago, a month before the trip. And that was from listening to one of your podcasts that's, I was like, okay, let me actually check this out.
And it's super simple. Even when I'm offline, I'm able to look at the map and it's very simple. There's not a whole lot of. Thank goodness. You know, data in there. It's perfect. It's just a map, pins, and text. And it's perfect because you can just [01:07:00] zoom out and kind of see if there are spots along your route.
And you're like, okay, cool. We've got some options. And then you go into iOverlander, then you may go into Google and just cross reference and kind of see where different towns are. And so we've, we've done a really good job of kind of having a lot of redundancy for mapping that we haven't gotten lost.
We've always had a place to stay and we've. We've actually always booked our accommodation the day of. Yeah.
Scott Brady: Yeah. And, and iOverlander is, I think it just gives you a lot of confidence and there's a lot of user curated information on there. There's not a lot of that information in the Garmin, but it does at least let you search iOverlander by some of the data points.
But if you have I overland or on your phone, then you can see the reviews. You can see the notes from other travelers. You can see how long ago that most recent note was in there. If there's updates to the information and for me, when, when we were looking at the likelihood of having to [01:08:00] shift from.
Driving up the east of Africa to driving up the west of Africa. I just like one night I was like feeling just to be candid. I was feeling like a little bit of anxiety of like, I don't know much about this route. All of my research has been done on the Eastern route and I felt really confident because I researched it well, but it was this whole unknown West Africa.
And so I start digging in. On I overlander and it's, it's endless, the places to stay and there's so much good information. I mean, it's just a very empowering tool and I'm just incredibly impressed by the app. I mean, we have no association with it other than I am a huge fan. I'm just like, I have such respect for what they've done and it is a powerful tool.
And then there's some good Facebook groups that you can also get in onto. That were active travelers in Africa. And there's even some WhatsApp groups that you can join. [01:09:00] other active travelers in the region that you're in. And then I also run Gaia on my phone and I'm recording a secondary track because I, I was loved to have my tracks and they're good to also, if you need a reverse course and get back to where you were at, if you're in a really challenging navigation area I like to have a backup of my track and then you have map layers So the one thing that you can do in Gaia is Bring up sat maps and sometimes sat maps tell you a bigger picture than what you can just see.
Joe: What are the, what are these dunes look like? Yeah. Like it says there's dunes here. You can sleep on the dune. Okay. Well, let's maybe look on the satellite to just kind of get an idea. And that's huge. When you can actually look on satellite to get an idea as to, you know, where you might be staying and, you know, especially as a photographer, you know, where you may want to get some shots.
You know, [01:10:00] that's kind of what I look into is. You know, what does the location look like from the satellite? And then I kind of know what to expect in the form of photography from that location. Absolutely.
Scott Brady: And then we can build out our shot list for the day. And then I also have tracks for Africa on my phone.
The app is nowhere near as powerful as the, these very detailed maps that you put down on the Garmin. It's
Joe: more of just like a reference
Scott Brady: map. Or a backup. Yep. So it's, it's a way for me to have a backup. You can't do turn by turn navigation, you can't record a track on it. It's literally just, you're kind of looking at the map and it shows you where you are on the map, but it doesn't do much, much beyond that.
I think it's still worth having. For some redundancy. I think that that's important. So that's what we're using for navigation.
Joe: And then Google offline maps. Yeah, that's a huge, that's been a huge thing for me traveling through other countries over the years. Is that if I know I'm going outside of South Africa, I download those offline maps because at least I [01:11:00] can still navigate through, you know, I do find there's.
There's like a lack of data to like really zoom in. And like, I want more of that satellite image from it, but at least I can still search like restaurants and different spots and then navigate throughout, you know, I've, I've had that for all of Mozambique is offline maps. And at least then I've got an idea as to where we kind of need to go.
If we want to change directions, that's been a good reference point to
Scott Brady: have. It is. And then the last. Point of navigation that I have is actually the watch that I'm wearing has built in maps. And if I'm out on a hike and my phone stops working, I can at least as long as I'm recording a hiking track, as long as I'm recording a hike, then I can actually look at the map, move my way back through that breadcrumb trail.
to get back to wherever we're starting. We also have paper maps along with us. So we [01:12:00] have some redundancy. We have a compass in the vehicle and I have a, a mechanical and static compass with me just in case for some reason, the GPS systems go down. It's important to remember that there's a thing called selective availability.
The government, the US government can shut down the satellite constellation for GPS if they want to, or at least they can greatly reduce the accuracy of it. if they chose to. So we always need to be aware of the fact that things like that can happen. Solar storms and other things can affect those electronic devices.
So we need to have a way to navigate. If those things were to go down Built by off roaders, for off roaders. OnX Off Roads Route Builder provides a new solution to your adventure planning with a snap to functionality. Just draw a line with your cursor and the route will automatically snap to the road or trail.
Hit save and the route will sync to your mobile device. Now you're [01:13:00] ready to hit the trails. Go farther with Onyx off roads route builder. Yeah. So we, you know, we've covered navigation. The vehicle has a winch. We have a full recovery kit. We got some tools in South Africa. There's a, you know, it's not as expensive as like a snap on.
It's a premium tool company called Tang tools. Yeah. We picked up some Tang tools. They're very good. They're Swiss or something like that. I don't remember what they were. Some European, I
Joe: think he, I think it was Swiss. So we got those from Harley. Who's the importer for Tang tools in South Africa. And he's, he's a great guy.
I mean, remember we went to his workshop. That was like an engineering shop. Totally. He had like an old series two, I
Scott Brady: think. One Land Rover, some 2002 BMWs, cool motorcycles, super cool guy. And he gave us a little discount, which helped us out as travelers. And, and we picked up the basic tools that we needed to be able [01:14:00] to.
Perform repairs on the vehicle, but then we pulled it, the, all of those tools out of the big box and we put it into this heavy duty canvas tool bag that we got from James at Melville and moon. And so we, it's a third of the space. I bet it's a third of the space.
Joe: Yeah, it's saved us so much space. It really did.
We didn't, we didn't need that box. I mean, it's nice to have everything in that box, but not to have it in a bag. You know, it was already kind of there.
Scott Brady: It's, and it's a heavy duty bag, so it's not going to get torn up. And then we, we made the decision to move all the recovery. Equipment behind the passenger seat.
So all the straps, pulley blocks, shackles, all those heavy items is behind the passenger seat down in the footwell. So centered in the vehicle download and move that weight forward. And then behind the driver's seat is all the tools. So we've got compressor, we've got a full tool set. We've got electric [01:15:00] multimeter and a bunch of bunch of electronic components that we need.
And then the spares are down low underneath the platform, pushed all the way forward against the back seats. So we were able to do a good job of getting that weight down low and as far forward as we can. We've got max tracks for recovery. We have four of those on the top. They've just saved my bacon so many times that there's no way, no way out.
And we almost needed it. Yeah.
Joe: I wasn't sure, you know, the other day, like. I wasn't sure when you got stuck in the sand. Tell the story. Yeah. So, so we, we, I think we were headed to the dunes that day and then I kind of filmed you riding up through the dunes and then you just found this open area along the beach and just started sending it.
And that was so great because you know, that was our first time in the sand and we had been talking about driving in the sand for so long and you, you know, we didn't, Deflate the tires at all? No, we were [01:16:00] still running, I think 40. 40. I, yeah. And there was a shot I was actually waiting to get to get a little bit of sun blur.
And then you ended up getting stuck and I was like, damn, I missed it. . Yeah. And and you, you look, you didn't look too buried, but you were buried. And I, I actually didn't know. I knew when to, I knew when to
Scott Brady: quit . Yeah.
Joe: Yeah. And that, and that was also very I was very aware of that, that you didn't try digging out or you're like, you know what time to air down.
And I actually wasn't sure which one you're going to go for first. I didn't know if you're going to go for the max tracks or if you're going to deflate the tires. And my guess was that you're going to deflate the tires and that's what you did. And you know, you got out the end deflate and that for me has been like the biggest eye opener of my life because typically I carry an air compressor on our trips.
And we do tires one by one and it is so slow. So to watch you just hook up the tires, they go quick [01:17:00] and it goes out. And you, you did that. And as
Scott Brady: soon as you're down to 18 PSI front and rear.
Joe: And as soon as you did that, I stepped back, started filming. And you just slowly kind of got that sand to build up and then you just kind of rolled over it and then out you went just with like grace, which was, which was beautiful to watch.
Scott Brady: Yeah. People, when they, cause they get nervous when they get stuck. So then once they get their tires are down, then they give it too much gas and then they just keep digging in. But if you go very, very slow, like low range, lock the differentials. And then just barely turning the tires, it actually starts to pull some of the sand up and underneath, which helps you begin to lift the chassis up.
And as soon as the chassis is clear, then that's when the vehicle really comes out. And the max tracks would have absolutely worked to get us out, but we still would have needed to air down after that, because we, just to get out the next day, we would have had to air down. [01:18:00] So for me, I knew I had to air down either way.
I started there. So it's a good idea to start by airing down. And, and the other thing is too, is you just, you don't play around at high pressures, unless you have a lot of confidence around the vehicle when you're close to the waterline, because you just, you don't want any chance that you're going to be stuck within the tide zone.
So we were well above the tide zone, got stuck. So it just, it makes it so much safer. And then once you gain some confidence, I hadn't driven, I hadn't driven the Grenadier in deep sand yet. So I wanted to have confidence in the vehicle before we went and played along the waterline. And of course we did the next morning.
It was just beautiful. And then we got to really play in the dunes. So then we were, you know, high marking the vehicle and driving. It, we just had so much fun, so super fun. That was great.
Joe: It was just so nice to like. Have that fresh dune and get that early morning sun. It was some beautiful pics. That's [01:19:00]
Scott Brady: the fun thing about sand or snow is that you can, you can kind of be as much of a hooligan as you want to be.
And the next time that the wind blows, which is right now, because the wind was howling. Yeah. So like, if you came back to that same spot that afternoon, the tracks would have all been gone. Yeah, absolutely. So. So, you know, you can have some fun and you're not doing any damage. It was not a vegetated dune and we weren't driving over any vegetation.
It was just pure sand. And the next time that the wind blows, and we were also. Well above the waterline. So if there was any turtles that were doing laying eggs or whatever, we were way above that. So there would be no damage also to any of the wildlife in the area. So we were just able to have some fun.
We were able to have some fun. Oh man, there's so much to talk about. We, you know, the border crossing into Mozambique was so easy. The people were so sweet. It was the first time that I imported the vehicle on the temporary import instead of the instead of [01:20:00] the Carnet. And I wasn't sure how that was going to go because I'm an American with an American passport.
It's a UK vehicle registered to NEOS. Yeah, so
Joe: there's a lot of, a lot of going against you, but
Scott Brady: it was all good. It was all good. It was all good. It was all good. They were smiles and
Joe: they're very friendly at that border post. Very sweet. Yeah. You know, the one guy I kind of like, I kind of judged for a minute, like we walk in and he's just.
on his phone. We were told to go into this office and he's just on his phone and we're just standing there. We were probably standing for about 10 to 15 minutes. I
Scott Brady: think we thought at first he was talking to his girlfriend or something. It was a heated conversation.
Joe: And then he said to us, sir, if you sit down, I'm on the phone with my mom.
And they were like, okay, two human, three humans here. It's cool. Like we're not in a rush. We're in a rush to get anywhere. And,
Scott Brady: And then when he got, when he got off the phone, he was really like, he wasn't Cause a lot of times those guys, when they're having a heated conversation, then they take it out on you.
Yeah. I was worried about that. And [01:21:00] he didn't like, he was like, he was like very humble about it. And I told him, I'm like, you know, he's like, I'm sorry. And I'm like, Hey man, it's your mom. She's super more important than we are. So, so I think it kind of diffused the situation. Absolutely. It was a really easy process.
And then Mozambique has just been a total joy. And now we're in tofu. Yeah. We're catching up on some work and some content and finally, and then you're going to fly out on Tuesday. I am. And then I'm going to continue on through Malawi and into Tanzania and then stage the vehicle in Dar es Salaam. And I'm going to fly back to the U S for a little bit.
I've got some projects that I have to do and then I'll fly back and pick it up and we'll continue our journey and continue our conversation. Joe, is there any other pieces of wisdom or insights or fun stories that you want to share so far from the trip as we wrap things up?
Joe: Two things, [01:22:00] two things that I think have stuck out the most for me.
One would be, I'll start with the kids in Mozambique. I don't know how many times I brought that up the other day when we were in the car, was that, you know, this whole stretch basically north of Maputo to Tofu, there was so many people walking along the road and all these kids just out running and playing and they were all coming back from school.
They're all smiling, they're all playing, and they just were having such a good time. And none of them had a smartphone. None of them. It was so nice and like, just so refreshing. I remember just, my eyes were boggling outside the car, just amazement.
Scott Brady: Wonderful
Joe: people. Yeah, like it's, I said it as well, is that it reminded me a lot of India.
This kind of stretch of Mozambique, and just the people seemed so friendly, and I'd heard a lot of negative comments [01:23:00] about this section of Mozambique from people back in South Africa. And it was nice to see it and witness it for myself and to know that it's a safe place to travel. It's an amazing place.
You can stay anywhere and. You know, super cheap and based on what the locals told us last night is that you can pretty much break down anywhere and these people will give you the best meal that they've got to give you that night. And so that's been really nice and refreshing and I know that I'll be back here in Mozambique and most likely back here in Tofu, probably back here at this lodge shooting some photos for them.
Yeah. So that's the one thing. The second thing was. The Cedarburg. Mm. Going to Ozzy's place. Yeah. So Ozzy is a friend of mine who I met probably five or six years ago in Cape Town. You know what a character, awesome guy. He awesome. He's, he's so funny, and he is, he's, he's such a storyteller.
He is such a character, and he is a Turkish guy and, [01:24:00] you know, I don't know many Turkish guys, so it's been nice to see, I guess, what a Turkish guy might act like. Yeah. I, I don't know.
Scott Brady: Great salesman.
Joe: Yeah, he, yeah, he is. He's, he's a good. So he owns a company called so much joy. So he owns a company called travel designer and they do like bespoke high end experiences like in the Cape town area.
And years ago, I remember him reaching out to me saying, Hey, we are opening up this location in the Cedar bird called Baccarin's and I'd love for you to come out. And Ozzie and I have been chatting over the years about, Working together at some point. And I know at some point we will. And I knew that at some point I would go to Bakrins.
I just didn't know when it would work out. So once we had travel plans that we were actually hitting the road and we're heading to Cape town, I think I put out a post on social media and that day, Aussie reached out and said, Hey, what are your plans for Cape town? I said, [01:25:00] I actually don't have any, like I am doing the plans today.
Like what you got in mind. He's like, dude, what does he say? Oh, my man, my man, you need to come to Buckrins. I'll open it up. You guys come, we'll go to Buckrins. I was like, okay, cool. So we chatted about it and off to the Cedarburg we went and you know, to get to Ozzie's place. We went up through vial and through vial was this amazing mountain pass that I did not
Scott Brady: know we were going in up.
It was, it was one of the, one of the top Overland routes I've done. Yeah.
Joe: That's was a huge, incredible surprise to both of us that day. Incredible. And
Scott Brady: it was little villages really high in the mountains. Yeah. Steep. Yeah. River crossing. Steep, steep climbs. Yep.
Joe: So then we met Ozzy at Justin Ella's place and he was hosting a group there.
And they said, look Ocrans is another 14 Ks that way over the mountain [01:26:00] and it's an off road route. And I think it took us a, over an hour to do those 14
Scott Brady: Ks. It's a four low high clearance off road route to get to this lodge. And I would call it like an eco lodge for sure. It is. It's more expensive because it's so inaccessible.
So if you think about what it would cost to build anything after an hour long four wheel drive route. Yeah. So it's a little more expensive because it took them so much effort to build it. And then people have to drive the people who run it. Like Ozzie and others, they have to drive five hours from Cape town to meet you.
They got to
Joe: go set up and then maybe meet the people back at Justin's place.
Scott Brady: All off grid. And, and it's just, it's in this leopard reserve and it's just incredible. I think that, I mean, there's nothing around. [01:27:00]
Joe: It's just, you're the only people you're the, we were the only people. Within, well, at least a 14 kilometer radius, maybe even further than that.
And it's rare to experience a place like that anywhere in the world. Yeah. And it was, it was a real honor to be invited there and to see how beautiful it was and like how tastefully done the whole place was wasn't over the top. It was just old school, perfect, simple. We had a great meal in that little room.
It was perfect
Scott Brady: by the fire. Oh. Yeah, and they're, you know, they're like old shepherd huts that There are some of them are the original shepherd's huts and then the other ones are built in the style of the shepherd's hut, but there's still hot water to take a shower and there's an outside, there's an outside shower.
I had my
Joe: five o'clock outdoor shower underneath the stars. I've never had that experience before. And I did that in the Cedarburg and that was a morning I won't [01:28:00] forget. I mean, to have a, you know, open air, you know, view of the stars before the sun comes up and to be taking a shower outside. Really
Scott Brady: incredible.
Yeah. It's just absolutely beautiful place. And they work very closely with, is it the leopard trust? Is that right? I think, yeah, the Cape Cape leopard trust. Cape leopard trust. They work very closely with them. and concessions there and they have worked to drop fences to improve habitat and they have a bunch of game cameras out there so that they can keep track of The movement and the health of the animals in the area.
So, and Ozzy's very passionate about that. So do some research on Bokron's B A A K R A N S and then the Cape leopard trust is something to look into too. And, and it was. It was just beautiful. Yeah. It was true. I mean, I could have spent a month there. [01:29:00] And we only spent a night. Yeah. We only spent a night there, but it was just really, and the route to get there, we're actually going to, we'll publish that in Overland Journal as an Overland route because people need to be aware of it.
Cause you can easily fly into Cape town, rent an Overland vehicle, go do an incredible Overland route through that region, go to Baccarin's and then have a hell of an adventure. So good. Yeah. So good.
Joe: Love that. That was my, and the, that was the highlight and the Turkish delights. Yeah. The, I think it's called memory.
I don't know how you pronounce it. It's memory confections. Yeah. Yeah. Roy, both Turkish delights. I think it was like an orange flavor, man. So good.
Scott Brady: Oh
Joe: man. So thanks. Thanks for that. Ozzie. Yeah.
Scott Brady: Thanks Oz. That was so good. Yeah. For hosting us, but it's been a wonderful trip so far, Joe. And we've, we've gotten along really well because we're really paying attention to being good travel [01:30:00] partners.
We check in with each other regularly and we make sure that we have good awareness around our behaviors and how we're taking care of each other and it's made a big difference. So it's been a total joy to have you along for this journey and for me to be along with you. Yeah. And this is just. Step one of a very long, of a very long journey.
So those are our updates. If you want to follow our journey, you can on Instagram, you can follow overland journal or expedition portal. You can also follow me, scott. a. brady. And then Joe's been posting regularly to at so tall right now is his, is his Instagram handle has been posting some fun. View of his own experience throughout the trip.
You can also reach out to Joe or me through those Instagram handles. If you have questions, we've not covered something that was important for you to hear about. There's really no [01:31:00] updates on the vehicle as far as any reliability issues, because we've not had a breakdown. We've also not had the vehicle not work in any way so far.
So it's vehicles performing well, but we promise to keep you up to date as we go along. It's been a joy to drive the Grenadier and it's been a joy to see Africa. So it's been pretty good. Thank you, Joe. We thank you all for listening and we'll talk to you next time.